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Saturday, October 13 • 11:00am - 12:30pm
Transnational Communities of Practice: The Value Regimes of ‘Indie’ and Sustainable Game Development in Canada and Australia

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In the past decade a vast range of game development practices has emerged beyond traditional Triple-A studios and multinational publishers in North America, Western Europe, and Japan. Through local and transnational spaces, 'independent' game developers are building communities driven by a diverse range of goals and values. Local cultural scenes, global social media, state funding opportunities, and the presence or absence of large studios have each been identified as giving shape to different value regimes and manifestations of an 'indie' identity in different local contexts. There is a vital need for more direct comparisons in order to better comprehend global game development

To provide such a comparison, this roundtable brings together Australian and Canadian researchers with an expertise in each country's local development cultures. While these countries are of similar size and population and have similar colonial histories, they possess starkly different game development industries.

Drawing from their respective fieldwork, roundtable participants will debate what it means to research 'indie' developers in these varied local contexts. What does it mean to be 'indie' in Montreal, Toronto, Melbourne or Brisbane? How does economic and cultural policy, adjacent cultural scenes, and access to mainstream industry networks and resources shape how developers navigate different regimes and discourses of value? What can sustainable game development look like, and what support structures reduce precarity? This roundtable may benefit those interested in intersections of 'indie', cultural economy, and 'creative' industries, as well as those interested in academic research partnerships with 'indie' game developers. Intended outcomes include a greater understanding of how local and transnational imperatives foster different value regimes, shape how 'indie' is strategically resisted and deployed, and leads to alternative visions for and routes to more sustainable development.

Saturday October 13, 2018 11:00am - 12:30pm EDT
Sheraton - Salon 6